PM Dahal hopes to add new chapter to Nepal-India relations

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said he would add a new chapter to existing Nepal-India relations with his upcoming visit to the southern neighbour.

He said that he had taken this visit as a challenging opportunity.

Informing the International Relations and Labour Committee of the Parliament today about his four-day India visit starting September 15, Prime Minister Dahal said, "I am confident that the visit would not only normalise the relations that went through some bitter experience in the recent past, but also build a strong foundation for mutual trust."

The Prime Minister made it clear before the Committee that he would not be signing any new agreement with India, but reviewing and implementing the old agreements. Additional support for post-quake reconstruction, hydropower trade agreements and the Postal Highway would be included on the agenda, he told the meeting.

He also expressed the commitment to consider the recommendations of the MPs and work in the interest of the nation.

Sharing that the deliberations regarding amendment to the Constitution to address demands of the dissenting groups were near to a positive conclusion, Prime Minister Dahal disclosed that an all-party meeting had also been called for coming Tuesday to discuss his India visit.

Prime Minister Dahal is scheduled to leave for India on September 15 and would return home on September 18.

PM Dahal briefed the Committee members that he was scheduled to meet Nepalis in India, attend a reception at Nepali Embassy in India and hold an interaction with foreign dignitaries on September 15.

There would be official meetings on the second day of the visit while PM Dahal would also visit a hydropower project in Himachal state and would hold a interaction with intellectuals soon after returning to New Delhi from Himachal.

Similarly, PM Dahal is scheduled to visit the factory of Patanjali Yogpeeth run by Baba Ramdev on September 18 and will return home the same day.

Meanwhile, lawmakers suggested the PM to raise issues like controlling criminal activities in the bordering areas, address problems meted out by the border security personnel of India to Nepalis during their movement around border points, controlling the smuggling of Nepali migrant workers to third countries via India, among others during his India visit.